Do You Have to Watch Lord of the Rings Before Rings of Power on Amazon Prime?

Should you watch these classic films before the streaming series?

by J.R. Waugh

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is coming very soon to Amazon Prime Video, and fans are excited to see just how big they make this series. The show appears to have a 5-season plan, with possibilities for additional spin-off shows if it performs well, and it could become an excellent new streaming sensation for those seeking quality high fantasy television. But with this show comes a possibly frustrating question: Do You Have to Watch Lord of the Rings Before Rings of Power on Amazon Prime? Read on to find out!

Do You Have to Watch Lord of the Rings Before Rings of Power on Amazon Prime?

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The short answer is that you don’t have to have watched the LOTR films before tuning into the Rings of Power when it premieres on September 1, 2022. The Rings of Power is a prequel series set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, millennia before the events of the Lord of the Rings which take place in the Third Age. If you were to watch the film, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ in its prologue gives an extremely brief, condensed retelling of the crucial moments within the Second Age, but there’s no truly in-depth examination of it.

This show will feature many prominent, familiar characters, including Galadriel, Isildur, Elrond, the former kingdom of Númenor, and Sauron before his rise to power, and their contributions to Middle-earth. But you won’t have to have known who they are, as the show will flesh out their stories and establish them in even greater detail than as they appeared in the films. It introduces the Rings of Power, including their distribution to the kings of men, the elves, the dwarves, and the infamous One Ring to Sauron, meant to dominate all others. In every way, this series is meant to set the stage for what happens in the films but tells potentially tons of worthwhile stories for you as a viewer to sink your teeth into.

Why You Should Still Consider Watching LOTR

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All this being said, you absolutely should check out the Lord of the Rings films, and it could be interesting if you end up watching this series first before the films, as it could be a whole new experience. With characters such as Galadriel explaining her role as a ring-bearer in passing shown only in the extended editions, it could be fascinating to see her past experiences as a younger ring-bearer beforehand, to establish context. So you don’t have to have watched either series before or after one another, but you should certainly consider both.

But more than anything else, you should watch the movies because they’re the seminal high fantasy movies of our time, winning a bucketload of Oscars, dominating the box office for 3 years in a row, and making stars of so many of their cast. Chances are, if you like high-concept fantasy storytelling, epic battles, and powerful, emotional character development, you’ll love these films.

This concludes our coverage of the question, Do You Have to Watch Lord of the Rings Before Rings of Power on Amazon Prime? Be sure to check out our entertainment column for more stories like this!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on September 1, 2022, and is entering production for its second season in October 2022.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2022

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